The goldfinch / Donna Tartt.
Publication year: 2014
Publisher: London : Abacus, 2014.
ISBN: 9780349139630 (pbk.) : 9780349139630 (paperback)
Originally published: New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
864 pages ; 20 cm
Camberley Library Morning Reading Group: This book affords the reader a rare glimpse into the seedy (Dickensian?) side of the art and antiques world. It immediately draws you into the life of Theo, the unethical, young, male, American, protagonist. It is a hugely ambitious novel, beautifully written, with impressive characterisations. However the tale is too implausible, rambles and obviously overwhelmed the author who failed to end it in a satisfactory manner. Most members of our group struggled to finish reading this epic (784 pages) with some of us believing it would have benefitted from much editing. We scored it 6/10. To those reading Tartt for the first time we suggest ‘The Secret History’
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